Great designers and artist have a way at looking at older buildings differently. It is almost a magically ability to see potential, to see beyond the current state of a building and imagine what could be. They are gifted in creating, changing, and impacting the world with their ideas and dreams. This was just the case in Van Wert, Ohio at a historic National Guard Armory Building with an age of over 70 years.
A regional art center catering to NW Ohio and NE Indiana, The Wassenberg Art Center and director Hope Wallace, had an amazing vision for the local landmark. The Armory had been previously of interest by a publicly traded retail chain, but in their eyes the only option was to demolish the building and build a new structure on site. The Wassenberg Art Center saw another option for the community. They thought that they could revitalize the historic building, bring additional arts to the Van Wert area, and grow the downtown district by hosting events and popular artist in this new space.
By choosing to polish the concrete floors we would enhance the space by revitalizing the older concrete floors and maintain a certain character and charm of the historic building. By using dyes and polishing the surface to a high sheen we could also create our own unique floor in the space and bring new life to an old building.
In the main gallery the floor was custom dyed using 3 different colors of penetrating concrete dye. Our entire polishing process involves use of a concrete densification process, mechanical polishing and honing steps to refine the concrete surface, and finishing with a stain guard process. This creates one of the most durable flooring surfaces in the commercial building industry. The best part is polished concrete floors can be tailored to serve as a focal point in space by customizing colors and designs, or serve as a extremely durable surface installed to handle the toughest industrial traffic conditions such as isle w ay in a large warehouse.
In the kitchen and bathrooms local artist used water-based concrete stains to hand paint the detailed pieces of art you can see below. This floor was then sealed with a urethane fortified sealer to protect the artistic designs and to add additional stain resistance in these areas.
This project was very exciting as we were able to creatively express our work and craftsmanship in a building dedicated to the arts, and a place that can serve and grow a community. Below you can see some pictures of the new space.
The bulk of the polishing work was done with our large concrete polisher. We made 7 passes on this surface from removing adhesive to a highly reflective surface.
Even in such a large space the details are what make the big difference. Here John takes care of the edges with our smaller 7″ polisher hooked up to a specialty concrete vacuum to maintain air quality.
A new stage was built in the open gallery space to host bands, speakers, and other events.
The polished and dyed concrete floor flows smoothly from the gallery into the hall connecting bathrooms, kitchen, and offices.
We colored this floor after the 400 grit polishing pass. The floor was then densified, polished to 800 and finished with a stain guard.
Right after coloring the floor with a concrete dye you can see the colors used in the space and how they move together. The colors Caramel and Slate Blue were used as primary colors. A light brown tone was added after to smooth the transition between the blue and caramel.
This renovated gallery features polished concrete floors from Dancer Concrete Design of Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can clearly see the new lighting in the reflection from the floor.
Thanks for reading. Please share this post by using one of the buttons below. You can check out the new Wassenberg Art Center at 214 S. Washington St. Van Wet, Ohio or visit online @http://www.wassenbergartcenter.org/. Grand opening is expected mid November 2013.